Sterkh 1 [COSPAS 11], Sterkh 2 [COSPAS 12]

Russian efforts to re-establish the country's part of the international COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue satellite system have failed, it was announced in January 2010.

Yuriy Zaytsev, academic adviser of the Russian Engineering Science Academy, was quoted as saying that "in 2009 two new-generation Sterkh satellites were due to be added to the KOSPAS [COSPAS] system, which had not had a single satellite since 2007."

Both satellites developed malfunctions and went out of order shortly after they were launched, Mr. Zaytsev said. The Sterkh spacecraft, which had been under development for eight years, had been expected to operate for at least three years in orbit.

Roskosmos head Anatoly Perminov on 19 January 2010 confirmed previous unofficial reports about the failure of both satellites.

According to the earlier reports, Sterkh 1 did not properly align its solar panels with the Sun owing to a malfunction of the satellite's flight control system. This resulted in a loss of power.

Sterkh 2 reportedly did not properly deploy its stabilisation boom and thus cannot be used for its intended purpose. It didn't fail completely, though. According to Mr. Perminov, ground control still tries to retrieve at least some engineering data from the satellite.

Last modified: 23 January 2010